avocados on tree

Avocados and cinnamon rarely get put into similar categories. One is a bark used to spice your food, the other a fruit that’s typically the one getting spiced. At first glance, the most these two items have in common is their roles in basic millennial memes: pumpkin spice everything and avocado toast. However, the two are actually much more closely related than might appear at a glance.

According to How Stuff Works, cinnamon is used most commonly as a baking spice. It is harvested from the inner bark of a small evergreen tree. Ceylon and Cassia are the two most commonly cultivated varieties of the spice. On the other hand, avocados are a heart-healthy nutrition powerhouse used in guacamole, avocado toast, and plenty of other dishes ranging from salads to smoothies.

These two food items also have more in common than many people think. As Biodiversity Explorer reveals, the trees that produce these treats are both in the same family of the plant kingdom, the lauraceae.

Avocados and cinnamon are both lauraceae

cinnamon

Avocados and cinnamon both come from trees that are considered a part of the lauraceae family, per Biodiversity Explorer. In this context, family doesn’t mean they’re siblings exactly. "Family" is a term used by scientists and researchers to understand the connections between different organisms (via BYJU’S). Most animal and plant life on the planet are classified into different taxonomy groups like this.

Taxonomy groups start with the widest category — the kingdom — and then descend down to phylum, class, order, family, genus, and finally species. For example, Lumen explains that humans and dogs are both members of the kingdom animalia and phylum mammalia because they both produce milk to feed their young. They are then further separated as the groups get more specific. This separation helps scientists understand what dogs and humans have in common, and also what makes them different biologically.

The lauraceae are grouped together because they all usually have a single cavity ovary that produces a single-seeded fruit. Avocados, cinnamon, and even bay leaves all come from different types of trees within this family. Of course, each has different features depending on their genus and species.

All three come from different parts of their respective trees as well. Cinnamon is made using the tree’s bark. Avocado is the fruit, and bay leaves are the dried leaves. These ingredients look different and have different uses, but at the end of the day, they’re all members of the same family.